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Hey All,
I am new to this forum. I am an avid runner and biker. I bike more, and better, than I run. My problem has been that I have really skinny legs, esply for a guy. I do not lack in power too much though. I usually bike/run on alternate days. Off late I have incresed the intensity of my workouts and I am getting hurt( nowadays I bike close to 40-50 miles at apprx 19-20mph OR run 4-6 6-7min miles ),. Nagging injuries like a small quad pull and one case of shin splints... I am looking to add some muscle mass to my legs for two reasons...
--Not look like a skeleton and actually get my jeans to fit me
--Add endurance and power towards avoiding injuries and increasing performance.

I know that the only way to do this is to get myself to the wight room. What I do not know is how I can combine while continuing with running and biking. The one time I did weight train my legs, it took em almost 2 days to loosen up. I am also worried of doing too much and leading to a serious injury.

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Duathalon.

P.S - I am 6' and weigh 140 pounds if that is of any help.

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I weight/strength train 2-3X a week in combination with a running schedule of 6 days a week and an average weekly mileage of 55-65 mpw (with an occasional 70 mile week). I also swim 2-3X a week. I work on core and upper body strengthening as well as the lower body. If you haven't done weight training before you are bound to get sore for the first few days but after that you will get used to it.
As far as combining weight training and running you can either
(1) fit your weights/strength-training session on your easy running days or
(2) if you are like me with not much time on my easy days (I do my runs with swims on easy days though they are spaced 4-5 hours apart), you can fit your gym sessions on hard days provided you space them out a number of hours apart to allow recovery between sessions. I do speed/tempo/hill work in the early morning (6 am usually) and work on the weights at around lunchtime or late afternoon. Nutrition is especially important when doing double workouts. Make sure you replenish your carbohydrate stores immediately or shortly after your workouts to allow quicker recovery in between workouts.

As far as bulking up goes...if you want to be fast, you don't want to build too much muscle..it will slow you down. Your goal should be to increase strength and muscular endurance. Like you I'm a pretty skinny ectomorph-type guy...~5'9", 134 lbs but after 3 months of weight training I've noticed considerable gains in strength even though I lost 6 lbs since May (from 140 to 134 with ~5% BF). I have also stay relatively injury-free for the most part.
Twice to 3 times a week for weights is enough for most runners.
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I agree with Tim, 2-3 times a week in the weight room is a great balance for runners. :wiggle:
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Another concurrence for 2-3 a week for weight. When I ran, I did a full body workout x3 a week. I think it definitely complemented my running
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You've got to start slowly in the gym, otherwise the soreness will be too much to take.
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Thanks for the info, Tim and everyone. I intended to train my legs exclusively, although I could a full body workout to tune up. As you suggested, if I fit my lifting sessions on my light running days, I should be fine. Another Question although this might sound stupid... When you lift, you essentially tear muscle fibers and then you body rebuilds by adding more. Does this increase your chance of injury if you combine running and lifting on the same day? Your muscles are rebuilding and you are putting more strain on it. I guess a sensible way to approcah it would be to run in the morning, lift in the evening and run again the next day??
Thanks,

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I reccomend doing your cardio before weights, I used to do a lot of weight training (yet I'm 125 pounds still lol), and that worked best for me.
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Thinking about a Weight Lifting for Beginners program
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I agree with Mike. If you want to improve your running and biking do those workouts before you lift. I would also suggest that after your runs you make sure that you get some protein and some carbs. This will help with your recovery. For me the easiest way to get both the protein and the carbs is to make a protein shake. Whey protein is absorbed the fastest by the body and can be really helpful after workouts if you don't have a lot of time to cook a real good meal. I usually throw some us-sport power protein, several ice cubes, some water, and some type of fruit into the blender and it makes for a real quick after workout snack.
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I recently wrote an article on this on my blog, so as not reitirate myself, just read the article on my blog.

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I'm a big fan of running for cardio. It's been great for my weight loss.
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I hate to sound trendyish but a kettlebell is the way to go. Swinging a 40 pound kettlebell around really gets the heart going. Great cardio. I recommend getting one heavy one and two lighter ones. Use the heavy one for two handed exercises. You really don't need two lighter ones but makes getting the correct form right for the heavier bell. The two bells will obviously make your workout quicker as you don't have to do a set and change hands. There's a ton of different worksouts. Some workouts for me a lighter ball is needed.

For those that don't know a kettlebell is a cannonball with handle.
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Where is a good place to get kettleball workouts?
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